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Simcoe-Muskoka enters orange restrictions on Monday

Grey-Bruce region will be moving from green to yellow on Nov. 23
2020-11-17 Covid_response
Village Media graphic

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit will move into the province’s orange “restrict” level on Monday, Nov. 23, with further control measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliott announced today several regions would be moving to increased restrictions within the colour-coded Ontario COVID-19 response framework, including lockdown for Toronto and Peel region. 

Under the orange restrictions all restaurants and food and drink establishments must close by 10 p.m. and stop serving alcohol by 9 p.m. A maximum of four people may be seated together, and there cannot be more than 50 people seated indoors. The same rules apply for meeting and event spaces, cinemas, casinos and gaming halls and performing arts facilities. Strip clubs must close. 

Sports and recreational facilities are limited to 50 people per facility (except arenas, pools, community centres, or multi-purpose facilities), and the fitness/lesson class capacity is still capped at 10 people. No spectators are permitted except for parents and guardians for the supervision of children. Leagues or sports teams may still have up to 50 people. 

Personal care services including steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools, floating pools and sensory deprivation pods must close. Services requiring the removal of face coverings are prohibited. 

According to a press release from the provincial government, public health data from each region will be reviewed weekly to determine if health units should stay where they are or be moved into a higher level. Each health unit will stay in the level they are placed in (or move to a higher level) for a minimum of 28 days.

The province also announced further visitor restrictions for health units in orange level or higher. Essential caregivers, staff, and support workers who provide direct care to residents will now be tested weekly (instead of biweekly). 

In Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, the medical officer of health, Dr. Charles Gardner, issued an order limiting all indoor visits at long-term care homes in the region to one essential visitor at a time. 

Grey Bruce Health Unit has moved into the yellow category (from green), which will require restaurants, bars, cinemas, casinos, and performing arts centres to close at midnight and stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m. A maximum of six people may be seated together. Workers within two metres of a customer not wearing a face covering (such as a server) must wear eye protection. Gyms are limited to 10 people per class and 50 people per room (for weights or exercise equipment) and the people in the room or class must be three metres apart.